I was only two weeks away from my booked departure to Cambodia and I still needed to purchase a few essential electronic devices to make sure I am able to document my journey around the world and maintain my positive cash flow while I’m on the road. The absolutely most essential piece of equipment was a powerful and reliable laptop. Throughout my life, I have owned and worked on several laptops so I really didn’t need the buying a laptop for dummies guide. I purchased a top of the line SONY laptop a few years ago, but the screen on it died shortly after a year of moderate use. I sent it in to SONY authorized service centre and was told that whole screen needed to be replaced which would incur the cost of $1,400. Given that I paid $3,500 for this machine just a year ago (it was the most powerful and advanced laptop at the time), I was not impressed with the quote. I did not pay this much money to have to pay an additional $1,400 to keep this expensive piece of machinery usable after one year. But because it was shortly after one year of ownership, the warranty on the laptop was expired so SONY was not willing to assist. I was basically left with the extremely expensive piece of laptop I paid a lot of money for but could not use it. Needless to say, this was the last time I have purchased anything made by SONY.
I also had another laptop. It was an old Toshiba I bought back in 1999. It still have Windows 98 Millennium Edition installed on it, it was ridiculously old and slow, but still worked like a charm. This laptop went through hell with me yet it has never let me down. I purchased the above mentioned SONY laptop in order to replace this old Toshiba because it was old and no longer matched modern criteria for computer use. I could still use it as everything on it worked like new despite extensive use for almost a decade, but it was simply too slow so I needed a new one.
After SONY let me down and burned $3,500 out of my pocket, I fell back to using a desktop which is what I was on at the time of making all of these arrangements to start the worldwide travel. I could not take the desktop with me. I needed a new laptop. I simply had no way around it. It’s impossible to haul the desktop around when travelling, Toshiba laptop was too slow and SONY didn’t work because it’s a piece of junk. So I brushed off my buying laptop for dummies guide and started to look around to see what there was for laptops at the moment so I could buy one.
One thing I have learned after purchasing the SONY laptop was that when buying a laptop, go for as small a screen as you can read. The SONY laptop had a 16.9″ screen. I thought it was awesome cause I was gonna get this nicely large viewing area along with super-powered components inside, but it proved to be the worst decision ever. Case in point is – if you want large screen, get yourself one for the desktop. When buying a laptop, go for light weight and small size. Even if you’re not a traveler, you will want to take your laptop with you when leaving your house for a variety of reasons and the bigger a laptop, the heavier and larger a chunk you will have to haul around with you. 17″ screen laptops are near impossible to use onboard a plane or in a car. They are simply so big that you can’t even open it on your lap. Plus you will need a rather large case to fit it in making your carryon luggage chunky and heavy. Lightweight laptops are the only way to go, whether you travel a lot or not.
So I went out to look for a laptop to buy but was discouraged by low availability of quality machines. I looked at Toshibas because the one I have still works and it’s more than 10 years old, but Toshiba seemed to have fallen asleep in 2009. Their laptops were underpowered and overpriced. The processors were from 2008. Memory was insufficient, hard drive space not much – plain and simple no where up to par with 2009 laptops. And these machines were priced at the same level as other brands which were equipped with superior processors, twice as much memory, larger hard drives, better video cards and all other components. It made no sense buying any Toshibas in mid 2009.
After ditching Toshiba laptops, I had very few options left. I only had a couple of weeks till departure so I really needed to get the laptop asap so I can load it up with necessary software and all files I need to have instant access to. But the quest to find a machine I’d be comfortable with was failing. Mid 2009 was also the time when Microsoft announced the release of Windows 7 operating system which would mean that one would want to wait until laptops loaded up with this new operating system are available (#2 rule from the Buying Laptop for Dummies guide), but I simply could not wait. I was leaving in two weeks so even though the laptop purchased now would come with operating system that’s becoming obsolete, I had to buy it.